(Our access to update the web was limited this weekend but we wanted to share the following updates that came through)
Day 6 Post from Youth Team Member Katie M.: So this is my seventh mission trip and my second time to Ghana but still I am amazed by everything that happens while we are here.Throughout the week I have seen not only the people in the village grow and open to both God and us but I have also watched as our team has become a family and has grown together to get to know God in a deeper and more meaningful way.
Last year there were two girls, Zuley and Vida, who stood out to me. They helped with everything that our team took on and never complained once. On the first day in the village, I was reunited with these girls and they remembered me right away, running up and hugging me. It showed me how much that trip last year had impacted the people there. During the week I got to better know these girls, learning about their lives, families, and everything about them really. These girls have shown me what love is in action and I couldn’t have asked for anything else.
Today was a very eventful day starting with clothing distributing to all of the children in the school. We sorted clothes and handed them out to over 200 students, picking out outfits and shoes for each child individually. It was exhausting but so rewarding at the same time. We then passed out bikes to the kids who had perfect attendance for the year. It didn’t matter what color or size the bike was, the kids were just so excited to be able to have a bike to ride to school everyday. We ended the day with a soccer game and hanging out with all of the kids before we said out final goodbyes to the village. It’s so hard to leave but yet I know that God worked through us in so many ways to make an impact in the village this week.
Day 7 Post from Youth Team Leader, Bart Dyer: So I’m writing today’s possibly final blog since all of the kids who wanted to post already have…sorry parents, I tried to get everyone to write, but not all are writers.
This week has been nothing less than incredible. I really can’t put into words all that we’ve experienced, learned and felt in our hearts here in the beautiful country of Ghana. The land itself is as beautiful as the people – the smiles full of joy, despite less than ideal living conditions. Their humility and grateful attitude is something we could definitely learn from. The children are absolutely amazing…again, the smiles, the laughter, the joyful spirits. It was probably one of the most moving and poignant moments of my life watching them Thursday night as we prepared to serve them a hot meal – their desperation was heart-breaking and eye-opening. We have so much to be thankful for in America!!!
This trip has changed my life in so many ways. And I know that the team here with Trish and I feel the same. What a great, talented, hard-working and willing group of teens that God chose to come on this trip! We’ve laughed and cried together and God has really been working in our hearts. Today as we pulled away for the last time from Yaw-Tenkorang, I was very proud and thankful to be part of this team. They did a fantastic job! There are so many stories to share and lessons to re-live that will last us a lifetime!
We leave very early in the morning for the orphanage where I plan to finish this post…
It’s the next afternoon and the mission part of our trip is coming to an end. We just left the Bawjiase Orphanage and had a wonderful time with the children and caretakers there. We were able to pass out nearly 100 personalized boxes that the youth pre-packaged with age and gender appropriate clothing, small toys and a few pieces of candy. We sang a song together and the head master shared a few of their stories about how the children end up in the orphanage. Once again, they were beautiful and had the same joyful spirit as all of the people we’ve met here in Ghana.
We’re now starting a 36 hour time of leisure…tomorrow the beach and Monday the market in Accra before we board the plane for America. (see photos below)
It’s been an amazing trip! I can’t wait to share more stories and photos of everything God allowed us to be a part of over the last 8 days. God bless and see you all soon!
Hi all – it is our last full night here and we are coming off a wonderful day. Our small group of adults broke off to check out the castle in Elmina and the jungle canopy for future trips. We found a beautiful hotel on the water for the future and then headed out to the Elmina Castle – a large coastal castle that served as the holding cell for west African slaves on the first step of the transatlantic slave trade. A powerful and somber experience for us all but one that left us all changed. From there we headed to the jungle canopy and enjoyed the beauty of Ghana from 40 meters above the jungle floor. AMAZING and definitely an excursion our next trip will take. We have now rejoined our group in Accra and we are enjoying dinner together. We are surprising Emmanuel and Kristy with a birthday cake. It is Emmanuel’s 50th on Tuesday! Heading to the market tomorrow and then home!
The short synopsis – we provided clothes and a meal for 200 children, saw over 100 patients at the clinic, painted the kindergarten building, brought school supplies to our sponsored students at Secondary School and worked on math prep materials for the Junior High. We are tired but feel really blessed to be a part of this mission. We are close to fixing a well that will provide over 800 people with fresh drinking water! Our well expert is returning to the village tomorrow to replace a hand pump – plan to have a working well in 48 hours! (Should be done by the time you are reading this!!!)
(You can see a video of the well from back in January 2011 here: YouTube Video